Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assn. (FEMA) reports:

After 73 years in the farm equipment manufacturing industry, Soo Tractor is closing its doors.

Soo Tractor, a 54-year member of the Assn., began in 1942 as Soo Tractor Sweeprake, a name which referred to its original products: devices with large teeth used to handle stacked hay. Horses pulled the first sweeprakes, which were wood. When tractors replaced horses in the field, sweeprakes were made of steel.

The company diversified over the years and built front-end loaders and backhoes. Allen Maheney, son of the company's founder and its president, died in February. An investment company bought Soo Tractor after his death, according to a report from the Sioux City Journal.

The company operates two plants in Sioux City, Iowa, with more than 200,000 square feet of assembly and warehouse space. Both plants will close by the end of June in response to what a company executive characterized as a decline in the North American agriculture economy.

The company is hosting a job fair this week to help its 53 employees transition.